Not Here – Women’s Devotion

You might know how it feels. Anyone who has experienced the turn of events during a sudden death of a loved one can identify with the accompanying experience. Life screeches to a halt. Minds go numb. Hearts shrink, shell-shocked. Our loved one is no longer here.

Ever been there? Take heart, dear one, you are not alone. Easter morning, the women were most certainly in this state of mind. As Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and Salome trudged to the tomb, the spices they toted were not nearly as heavy as their thoughts and hearts. The last few days had been a living nightmare.

Their dear master? Gone. Marred beyond recognition. Crucified. Pierced through. Sealed inside a tomb. Gentle Jesus—dead. The mighty One who had fed the five thousand, walked on water, healed the masses, and proved his right to be called the Son of God, was cruelly betrayed—by one of their own! Their male companions witnessed the arrest and were stunned at the outcome.

Heads covered, arms full, and hearts broken, the women arrive to find the surreal scene, unexpectedly odd. The seal is broken. The stone is rolled away.

Going inside, they look, seeing only the grave clothes. How could this be? Next, two men in brilliant garments stand near them, illuminating the emptiness where Jesus’ body was laid.

Frightened, they bow low. I imagine them missing the obvious joy of the angels, who said:

“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

Note the exclamation point—risen! The angels are joyous. Next, words of reassurance:

“Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”

The dawn grows brighter as the dazzling truth begins to sink in.

Luke pens their response. “Then they remembered his words” (Luke 24:5-8).

Could it be true? Yes, today was the “third day”!

He had risen!

Though society saw them as less, Jesus saw them all throughout his ministry. He arranges this glorious morning to be filled with firsts: first at the empty tomb, first to hear the resurrection news, first appearance to Mary, and entrusted by Jesus with the first resurrection report to the disciples.

Does your heart burst with Easter joy for these sorrowing women? With fresh eyes of faith, their grief beyond belief turned to wonder, and their wonder turned to praise. Can you see them excitedly rushing back to Jerusalem, daring to believe?

Daughters of the King, rejoice with these sisters, for their story is ours! We, too, have seen the risen Lord in God’s Word and believe. Jesus lives! Together, we can share this epic news.

“He is not here. He is risen, just as he said!” Hallelujah!

Happy Easter!

Written by Marilyn Sievert